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End Of Season Wrap Up

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« on: November 17, 2017, 02:52:02 pm »

Dear Fellow Rams and Friends,
With the fall season coming to a close and the boats finally put away for the winter, I find this a good time to reflect on what we have achieved thus far and what we are still hoping to achieve as we progress towards the spring season and the three major national championships. The fall season is a time for development and growth. We attend a wide range of events and sail a large portion of our roster in a number of competitive events. Historically, in my time with the team, our fall season results have not been reflective of our spring season performance. We take a full year approach to our season knowing that while strong fall results are something to strive for, we are ultimately working towards being the most prepared for and peaking at our spring conference and then national championships. While the coed team did not see the end of season success they were hoping for, there were still many positive notes to take away from the year thus far. We made tremendous strides in narrowing the skill and knowledge gap of our team across the board, particularly with our crews, which was something we focused heavily on and became somewhat of a theme for the fall season. By the end of the season, we narrowed the boatspeed gap across the board to the point that any skipper/crew combination had the ability to win races in practice, a feat that is the envy of most college teams and a necessity for competitive practices to prepare our best sailors for major events.
With the women’s team we took a slightly different approach to the structure and schedule of the season than in years past. We opted not to travel to NEISA for their Women’s Interconference events, instead sailing in a number of middle tier coed events and one MAISA Women’s Interconference regatta. These events were more catered to our skill level and therefore offered better opportunities for growth than the always-challenging NEISA events. With a strong finish at the conference championship and a decent showing in the shortened 8-race Women’s ACCs, the Women’s team ended the season ranked in 18th, the highest we have been ranked in my time coaching the team!
With exams and the holiday season on the horizon, the team will taper off its schedule. We will continue workouts until Thanksgiving break but will give the students some much needed time off to focus on preparing for their exams between Thanksgiving and December break. We will hit the ground running with team workouts and weekly team meetings at the start of classes in January in preparation for getting back on the water in mid-late February (weather permitting). Once on the water in the spring, we will shift into team race mode for the first half of the season as we make a push to qualify for our second ever appearance at Team Race Nationals, and then jump back into fleet racing as we hope to qualify for both the Coed and Women’s National Semifinals and then Nationals.

Johnny Norfleet
Head Coach
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